Communicating Virginia Coastal Resilience Science

The Virginia eastern shore is a living laboratory for coastal scientists and community partners to explore and document resilience that is inherent in the natural system. Geospatial analysis and on-the-ground research supports efforts to develop a better understanding of how to plan for the future of this dynamic system. Chris Bruce, the GIS Manager for TNC Virginia, and Amy Ferguson, an M.S. Candidate at University of Virginia, recently presented award-winning posters that document the study sites, field methods, data analysis, and finally some results that are incorporated into various Coastal Resilience applications specific to Virginia’s eastern shore.

Amy’s poster titled, “Making the case for nature-based solutions to coastal erosion in Virginia’s coastal bays,” focused on the suitability of nature-based protection techniques to reduce coastal erosion as sea level rise, population growth, and increased intensity of storms amplify erosion issues. These study findings show that the use of living shorelines such as marsh vegetation and constructed oyster reefs can control erosion while also maintaining ecosystem functions. Chris’s poster titled, “Coastal Resilience Virginia Eastern Shore” provides an overview of the Coastal Resilience applications that have been deployed in Virginia, including the newest application, Coastline Change. Coastline Change has both a historic data module that allows users to explore how much and in which direction shorelines have changed over the last 165 years, as well as a future scenarios module that shows results of modelling efforts for a 50-year time frame.

Not only are these posters effectively communicating the complex science and modeling that is behind these Coastal Resilience applications, but they are also winning awards for their presentation! Amy won an award for a top poster at the 2017 Robert J. Huskey Graduate Research Exhibition and Chris won first place in the poster contest at the Virginia GIS Conference. Kudos to our Virginia team for their visually appealing and informative posters!

View the full posters here:

Making the case for nature-based solutions to coastal erosion in Virginia’s coastal bays

Coastal Resilience Virginia Eastern Shore